Penguin Adaptations: Feathers
|Adelie feather, white except
for the black tip. Notice the large amount of downy material near the
base of the feather. This provides a thick warm undercoat. The other
(left) end is very stiff providing the waterproof covering which keeps
the penguin dry.
more puffy feathers are from the penguins head, where it can raise and
lower a crest depending on what mood it is in.
|The Adelie penguin's tail
has only a few feathers which are very stiff and vary in length from
long in the middle to short on the sides. See further explanation under
"Adaptations of the Tail."
||This bird has fluffed himself
up in order to stay warmer. Air, warmed by the skin, can move among
these feathers, trapped between the skin and the outer ends of the feathers.
This is the same principle as that of a down jacket or down comforter
that people use.
|The wind has blown this
Adelie’s feathers apart. You can see the thick layer of down,
which lies underneath the strong compacted tips of the outer, 'contour
feathers'. These outer feathers are almost like fish scales and keep
the the water away from the downy layer.
||This bird has released most
of the air between its feathers, giving him a sleeker and thiner look.
This bird is ready for action.
inside of an Adelie Penguins skin. Each bump represents where a feather
is attached. The stated amount of feathers is 45 /cm2. Count them for
yourself and see what you come up with.
afar, Adelie Penguins look black on their backs, but close up you can
see the black feathers are tipped with blight blue. It is easier to
see when they ruffle their feathers like in the picture above.
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